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Six missing in Alaskan copter crash

Dec. 9, 2004 at 7:33 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Six people were missing Thursday after a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crashed while rescuing stranded Malaysian sailors off the Alaskan coast, CNN reported.

Cmdr. Jeff Carter said the HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter with a crew of four had already evacuated 18 of the 26-member crew from the Selendang Ayu when it went down in turbulent weather near Unalaska Island, in the Bering Sea.

"Another helicopter from the Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley, which is on scene, picked up four people and have taken them to Dutch Harbor for medical treatment (and) their condition is unknown," a Coast Guard statement said. "Six people are still unaccounted for."

The 738 foot-long Malaysian-flagged Selendang Ayu was carrying soybeans, but lost power to its main engine Tuesday and has since broken in two, near fisheries and a sea lion habitat. The Chinese-built 40,000-ton ship has 500,000 gallons of fuel on board and authorities are concerned about a possible spill, CNN said.

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